George Abradu-Otoo, Managing Director, PMMC, emphasized on need of investment in gold mining sector in Ghana to increase the production while talking to Bullion Bulletin during DPMC 2015. Excerpts…
Ghana is now the largest producer of gold in West Africa, around 100 odd tonnes they are producing. What kind of growth are you seeing in next 5 years?
Ghana is the largest gold producer in West Africa and in the whole of Africa Ghana comes next to South Africa. We are doing around 100 tons and we expect this figure to go higher because of the number of mines that are coming into the system. Especially in the small scale sector lot of people are coming from outside destinations like China, India, Dubai etc. So, we are expecting to grow in next five years.
What kind of opportunities the government of Ghana is giving to promote this industry?
They are doing a lot. Mining law has been modified in order to make it more investors friendly. We expect more people to come into the sector; government is putting up low regulatory rules in place. It is to ensure that mining is done on a very sustainable platform. Mining causes environment degradation. They are doing everything possible to guarantee that mining is done sustainably, not to harm environment too much.
Ghana is having big and small miners. While distributing prospecting license to the organizations, what kind of rules does the government follow?
In Ghana basically mining industry is divided between big and small area. There is a whole government institution responsible for licensing of mining, exploration etc. The organization is called Mineral Commission. The commission facilitates the process of granting licenses to companies in a very easy and straight forward way.
We have seen that lot of South African mines are facing labour problem, electricity problem etc. Are there any such challenges to address in Ghana?
No it is not so much. We don’t have any issues in that. Currently, there is small amount of power problem which government is trying to solve. Everything is controlled. Our industry is almost 100 years now, fetched a level of harmony between workers and mining companies.
Investment is coming from overseas?
Yes, lot of people are coming like from China, India etc., some are building new mines especially the landscape area but in the small scale area lot of people are buying existing mines.
How much dore refined inside the country and how much are you exporting to the destinations where there is a demand?
In Ghana when it comes to refinery it is not much done in that area. Most of our gold is exported in the raw form. This is one area we wanted to improve now. We have built a refinery of our own in order to add some value before exporting.
Is there any problem ror any Asian refiner importing dore from Ghana?
There is not problem at all, it is very easy, the regulations are straight forward. We have free trading states.
How do you ensure competitiveness along with compliances while sourcing dore?
That’s not a problem in that area at all. The rules are there; when you come you need to have your license that allows you to export. It is very easy to obtain license, it does not cost much and within one or two day you can get your license. When you setup your offices you can do your own export. In PMMC you can buy your gold and when you have your own gold, you can also ship through us to any destinations of your choice.
What about the other West African countries like Mali and Tanzania? Can we source competitively?
Yes, you can do but I think their regulations are bit stringent. For example, many people come to us and enquire whether they preserve gold or ship through us? And the answer is yes. When it comes to Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea they are bit more stringent. So it will be easier to them to come to Ghana and ship it out.
Since you are in this conference and it is first time, I hope you enjoyed. You must be looking to expand business in this part of the world like Dubai, India, Singapore, and China.
I will be definitely looking for get finance. Gold is there in Ghana, but the problem is finance. If we get people ready to finance the production, it will help greatly to increase the quantity of gold that shipped out of Ghana every year. There is no doubt that Dubai is the best place and that’s why I am here.
How you liked this venue?
Wonderful, it is best in the whole world. The organizers have done very well. I congratulate them.
Disclaimer: Views are personal and not the views of the publisher.
Source: Bullion Bulletin